Champion Update…Update

Hey guys, RiotSeb here for the Champion Update team to give you a bit of insight into some of the projects our team is working on at the moment. **Karthus** In case you missed it, the Karthus Visual Update is headed to PBE! Read more [here](http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/champion-relaunch/karthus-deathsinger). **Twitch / Skarner** Our team’s mandate doesn’t end when updates hit Live – we aim to keep fine-tuning them until their foundational elements are sound. For example, we’re still working on a couple of Twitch’s oddities such as his ultimate rendering him unable to attack structures. Skarner is a major ongoing focus at the moment, as his initial Gameplay Update had some issues that we’re still committed to solving. Skarner’s adjusted kit didn’t fully live of up to the fantasy players had come to expect when playing him, so we’ve been looking at ways to get back a bit of that magic while preserving his healthier new gameplay. As we mentioned in [this thread](http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-skins/qAAt8BET-skarner-follow-up-new-passive-direction-what-are-your-thoughts), we’re currently experimenting with some passive / Q functionality tweaks aimed at increasing his stickiness, and we’re excited to see all you scorpion lovers try the changes out once we’ve nailed them down. We know this has been a major pain point for you Skarner players out there, and we’re hoping to get this next iteration on PBE within the next patch or two. **Nidalee** The huntress is a pretty polarizing figure, and we’ve slated her for an upcoming Gameplay Update focused on evening out her most abrasive elements while opening up a fresh gameplay pattern centered on a new ‘Hunt’ mechanic. Nidalee’s current ability to project the bulk of her damage (and potentially massive damage at that) from extreme range with hardly any threat of retaliation is something we want to significantly tone down. Doing so will allow us to add some more interesting power in the form of ‘Hunt,’ a mechanic that creates interesting decision points by increasing Nidalee's overall strength against Hunted targets, especially in Cougar form. Updates to some of Cougar form’s abilities that contextualize their effects based on target and facing will further help Cougar form mature into a more interesting and co-equal component of Nidalee’s engagements. Head over to [this thread](http://community.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-skins/bJ78j8nt-upcoming-nidalee-gameplay-update) if you’d like to chat with Riot Repertoir and learn more about the upcoming Nidalee GU. **Yeah yeah Seb, but what’s next?** In the past we’ve haven’t usually talked much about our pipeline, mostly because the team was still spinning up and we didn’t want to create false expectations about how quickly updates would come out. When you’ve found out about things we’re working on it’s mostly been through early designer discussions and hints, or when we officially announced updates. And while we definitely like surprising you (and hopefully will continue to do so *evil grin*), we’d also like to start giving you some idea of what’s coming down the line. Keep in mind the following does not represent a comprehensive list of what’s on our radar or even being worked on. Champion Updates are a major part of League of Legends’ ongoing evolution, and we’re committed to the long-term maintenance of the entire League roster. A note on our upcoming aims – with Heimerdinger, Twitch, and Karthus we’re closing out a stretch of art-focused updates and moving into a period where we’re shifting the emphasis to gameplay. This does not mean we’re abandoning art; Gameplay Updates will still be supported with visual retouches where necessary, and for our more comprehensive projects we’re looking at champions with outdated / irrelevant gameplay in addition to lagging visuals (i.e. a certain undead behemoth). Everything mentioned below is tentative, not tied to dates, subject to change, delay, cancellation, etc. When updating everyone’s beloved champions, our overriding goal is to do the job right; speed comes a distant second. Seriously, Soon™, if you try to hold me to what’s said below I’m taking a poro hostage. **Sona** Sona’s planned Gameplay Update is currently a bit more surgical than most – she’s got several existing strengths and high points that players love. Specifically, we’re currently exploring ways to make the choices attached to Sona’s basic abilities more exciting and looking at more satisfying uses of the power currently held by her auras. Ultimately, we want to condense Sona’s power into actions that create skill expression for Sona players, greater clarity of interaction for allies, and have possible counterplay for opponents. Doing so will allow us to create more meaningful moments for players with a champion that is still Sona, but with bigger pay-offs and a lot more to care about from moment to moment. **Fiora** Fiora occupies a cool gameplay space, one we’d like to further by making her feel more like a fencer/duelist both mechanically (how her abilities function) and thematically (how her abilities look, sound, and relate to her identity). Currently, Fiora is mostly an Assassin, using all her abilities to jump on a squishy target and quickly deal tons of damage in the hope of killing it dead. While we'd like to elements of that play style, we also want to nudge her towards being more of a Light Fighter, dealing good long-term DPS, staying in or near the fight at almost all times, and satisfied to switch between targets as fights change/move. This means making her more mobile and elusive in fights, with bigger periodic damage spikes rather than one large burst at the start of a fight. We also want to make her more mechanically intense (using her abilities more frequently, with a better reward for using them properly). **Sion** Inorite? Everyone’s favorite undead juggernaut is firmly in our sights and has grown into one of our biggest projects. There are a lot of challenges here - to be frank, Sion is OLD, pretty much across the board. At the same time, he occupies an awesome and iconic thematic space, so from gameplay to art to creative background we’re taking a ground-up approach to re-tooling Sion into the best possible expression of his role as Noxus’ undying champion. He’s definitely a ways out (as I said, we aim to get it right!), but we can’t wait for him to reemerge and strike terror into mere mortals everywhere. As I mentioned, we’d like to continue periodically doing updates of this sort when we send projects to PBE or Live. We’ll also be back with more specific discussions as the above projects (or others!) get closer to completion. Until then, happy rifting!
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